The Women Who Run Mumbai

In February 2012, the megapolis of Mumbai celebrated the successful election of unprecedented 746 women councilors into the largest and richest urban civic body in the country, the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai (BMC). After initial opposition from various parties and accusations of tokenism and proxy candidature, the introduction of 50% percent reservation for women candidates in the civic elections looked like it had been successful in creating an impact.

For the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, the 2012 civic body election was the second milestone in the empowerment of women politicians. In 1994, the state was the first to implement 33% reservation for women in the Legislative Assembly even as the national parliament continues its endless debate which has the passing of the Women’s Reservation Bill in permanent limbo.

Currently, women representatives make up only 11% of Indian Parliament. It is the highest ever number in the country in all its years but in a survey of women in politics across the world,India ranked a poor 105 – indicative of the vast ground it has yet to cover.

With 50% reservation in place, there were clear indicators of active participation by women in the run-up to the elections. Women voters became a sought after vote bank. Women party workers were key to pre-election campaigns. Women’s issues were given prominence in the manifestos and election promises. Even in the midst of tokenism, some strong, educated, community leaders were elected.

Even as full impact of reservation is yet to assessed, IndiaUnheard Community Correspondent Amol Lalzare goes on the ground with his trusty camera to reflect on the issues, concerns and aspirations of the women who run Mumbai.

Even as full impact of reservation is yet to assessed, IndiaUnheard Community Correspondent Amol Lalzare goes on the ground with his trusty camera to reflect on the issues, concerns and aspirations of the women who run Mumbai.

Related Links:-

Women in Politics: India ranks 105

Indian Parliament: Facts & Stats

746 Women Elected as Municipal Councilors

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